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Educational Assistant

Educational assistants support students as part of a multidisciplinary team with teachers and other support personnel to provide meaningful instruction. Educational assistants also help teachers with non-instructional tasks.



  • Avg. Salary $32,640.00
  • Avg. Wage $22.19
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 16,800
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Instructional Assistant, Program Aide/Assistant, Special Needs Educational Assistant, Teacher Aide, Teacher Aide

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants (6472) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants (G812) 
  • 2011 NOC: Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants (4413) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

12%
12%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Interest Codes
The Educational Assistant is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants
SOCIAL

Interest in assisting special-needs students such as those with mental and physical disabilities with mobility, communication and personal hygiene

METHODICAL

Interest in copying information to work under direct supervision of classroom teachers and other professionals such as special education instructors, psychologists and speech-language pathologists; in assisting with classroom inventory; in using techniques such as sign language, Bliss symbols or Braille; in monitoring and reporting to classroom teacher on student progress; and in monitoring students during recess and noon hour

innovative

Interest in handling techniques of behaviour modification, personal development and other therapeutic programs; in preparing classroom displays and bulletin boards; in assisting in the preparation of learning materials and environment; and in accompanying and supervising students during activities in school gymnasiums, laboratories, libraries and resource centres, and on field trips

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 27, 2017

Educational assistants work for early intervention programs, schools, summer camps, child care centres and other learning organizations. They support students, teachers and other professionals. In a school setting, they may:

  • be supervised by 1 or more teachers
  • work with students who have special needs
  • work with 1 or more students in the classroom and other settings
  • supervise students in structured (classroom) and unstructured (hallways, recess, lunch hour) settings
  • help prepare materials and do clerical tasks as required.

Duties vary from one position to another but, in general, they:

  • support students to be included in the classroom and school
  • implement lesson and behaviour plans for students as directed by the teacher
  • support students to participate in learning activities
  • help students with lessons and assignments
  • demonstrate activities
  • set up and take down displays, play spaces and work spaces
  • report on student behaviour and progress
  • help students with physical and personal care needs
  • encourage positive student behaviours
  • conduct oral tests or act as a scribe for students
  • collect and prepare learning materials and use assistive technology to support learning
  • help with school-wide special events and activities
  • supervise children during lunch and recess breaks or field trips
  • support students to build good relationships at school.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 27, 2017

Educational assistants work indoors except when supervising students outdoors or on field trips. They may need to lift items weighing up to 10 kilograms. Sometimes, heavier lifting may be required (for example, to help students move in and out of wheelchairs).

Those who work in school systems usually have the same holidays as teachers. However, most work on a contract basis and are not paid during the summer months. Some school districts pay over the 12-month period and provide benefits for those in permanent positions. Work may include after-school hours to attend staff or committee meetings.

Private-sector schools may employ educational assistants for the full calendar year.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 27, 2017

Educational assistants need to possess:

  • flexibility, patience, sensitivity, tolerance, enthusiasm, creativity and imagination
  • a positive attitude
  • good health and physical fitness
  • good speaking and writing skills
  • keen observation skills
  • an ability to deal with the stress of working with 1 or more students who are active and demanding
  • an ability to interact with students and staff in a tactful, empathetic manner
  • an ability to take direction and work alone or as a team member
  • an ability to keep student information confidential
  • a commitment to the development, progress and inclusion of students with special needs in education.

They should enjoy:

  • working with people (especially students with physical, emotional or behavioural disabilities)
  • working within clear guidelines and finding innovative ways to handle situations.

Creativity is essential as educational assistants may need to search for and use strategies that match a student's interests and learning styles.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 27, 2017

Employers generally prefer to hire educational assistants who have a high school diploma and related post-secondary education. A first aid certificate, criminal record check and child intervention record check also may be required. Related experience is an asset.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Academy of Learning - Calgary NE

Academy of Learning - Calgary South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown

Academy of Learning - Edmonton South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton West

Academy of Learning - Medicine Hat

Academy of Learning - Red Deer

Assiniboine Community College - Brandon

Bow Valley College

East-West College of Business & Technology

Evergreen College - Calgary

Grant MacEwan University

Keyano College

Lakeland College

Medicine Hat College

Mount Royal University

Northern Lakes College

Northern Lights College

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Stenberg College

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 27, 2017

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 27, 2017

Educational assistants may work full time or part time in:

  • early intervention programs
  • kindergarten to grade 12 public, separate and private schools
  • after-school programs
  • post-secondary schools 
  • child care centres
  • summer camps and day programs
  • home-schooling environments
  • parent link centres, native liaison or other social services in which educational programming is offered.

Advancement requires further education. 

Educational assistants are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4413: Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants. In Alberta, 98% of people employed in this classification work in the Educational Services (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook (PDF) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Educational Services industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 15,700 Albertans are employed in the Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 236 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As educational assistants form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for educational assistants. 

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 27, 2017

Salaries for educational assistant positions vary widely throughout the province.

Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $14.32 $35.65 $18.22 $16.62
Overall $15.34 $49.77 $22.19 $20.18
Top $15.71 $58.71 $26.20 $23.58

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Educational Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

62%
62%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

12%
12%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

N/A

Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Education and Library Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 27, 2017

Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA) website: www.teachers.ab.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 27, 2017. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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